- Scylla and Charybdis are two sea monsters of Greek mythology noted by Homer…they were said to be located close enough to each other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors; avoiding Charybdis meant passing too closely to Scylla and vice versa.
- Scylla was said to be a creature who was rooted to one spot in the ocean, and regularly ate sailors who passed by too closely. Charybdis was depicted with a single gaping mouth that sucked in huge quantities of water, and belched them out three times a day, creating whirlpools.
- According to myth, Odysseus was forced to choose which monster to confront while passing through the strait; he opted to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather than risk the loss of his entire ship into the whirlpool.
The political debate in the modern United States has always been framed as between left and right. The so-called political spectrum is always discussed as a straight line, defined on one end as “far left” and on the other as “far right”. Virtually all television pundits use this terminology. According to this view, every opinion and every person must fit in between somewhere.
This is simply untrue. It is, for example, possible to be a fiscal conservative AND a social liberal. Such mostly unheard-of possibilities are shown on the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” that scores your political views by how much freedom you prefer in economic and personal actions. For example, anyone believing in total economic and personal freedom would score 100 on both scales and would fall into the “Libertarian” area:
The important point that is illustrated above is this: the political spectrum is not a straight line, it closes on itself. This explains why there seems to be so little difference between the national politicians and the national parties; neither truly trust the people with economic or personal liberty. Their so-called “left” and “right” differences merge into “Statism.” Is Obama a Socialist or a Fascist? Who cares? The argument is a distraction. He is a statist. He doesn’t want me to have either economic freedom (wealth redistribution) or personal freedom (Obamacare).
I refuse to allow myself to be forced to choose between having some of my sailors eaten or having my ship sucked into a whirlpool. It’s a false choice. The power of the Tea Parties lies in their independence from the established political system. As a genuine political independent I’ve adopted a philosophy that I believe I share with many Tea Partiers: I refuse to support the lesser of two evils. From now on I will support what I really want.